ARO Store Directors Take Eye-Opening Tour of Distribution Center

Recently, a large group of store directors and other leaders from the Associated Retail Operations (ARO) central division toured the AFS Farr West Distribution Center. The goal of the visit was to get a better understanding of how the distribution center works, to meet the team in Farr West and to get a view of the inner functions of the warehouse. 

Steve Skinner, one of Associated Retail Operations district managers, coordinated the tour.  

“The goal in getting the team there is to help them better understand the entire supply chain,” said Steve. “It’s not that they don’t understand but visiting the distribution center gave them a new perspective on what it takes to receive product and then follow that product all the way to the dock at the store.”

The group visited the receiving department, logistics, order selecting, loading and transportation. Additionally, leaders at the distribution center prepared a presentation to help store directors understand the various roles and responsibilities throughout the facility. As the distribution center leaders shared details, store directors were able to see the immensity of the operations and the challenges that occur each day.

“The tour was very beneficial to the team and the store directors were amazed by the sheer size of the distribution center,” said Steve. “We’re able to see how proper planning and pre-commits are so beneficial. We were also able to see what ripple effects take place when stores place emergency orders. As we enhance two-way communication, we can all make an impact on keeping the train on the track and moving at a rapid pace.”

Steve has other tour plans in the works including a visit from his assistant store directors. Glen Keysaw, Justin Johnson and other distribution center leaders welcome the interactions.

“Being able to see and share the big picture is so helpful to all of us,” said Glen. “We will gladly host any retailers who want to tour the facility and will provide lunch to those who make time to come see us here in Farr West. These tours can help everyone understand the tremendous scope of ‘One AFS’ and what we can accomplish as we work together.”